Thursday 14 December 2017

Irish teacher who claimed he was robbed by van driver in Thailand 'too drunk to remember what happened'

Footage released by police
Footage released by police
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

An Irish teacher who claimed he was robbed and beaten up by a van driver in Thailand has admitted that he was too drunk to remember what actually happened, police claim.

Ciaran Duffy, an English teacher at a Bangkok school, appeared in local media claiming the driver had demanded 2,000 baht (€53) for a fare from Pattaya to Bangkok and attacked him when he refused. He claimed that the driver stole 2,500 baht (€66) from him, according to Thai Rath news agency.

Videos were posted online appearing to show Mr Duffy (25) with injuries to his legs and face and media appeals for information were issued.

Khao Sod reported that after news spread of the incident driver Buddee Srimontri (52), turned himself in to deny the allegations.

According to the reports Mr Buddee told police that Mr Duffy was "drunk and being a nuisance to other passengers" in the Bangkok-bound van by shouting and putting his feet up on the seat in front of him.

The driver said he stopped the van and pushed Mr Duffy onto the footpath before leaving.

Mr Buddee also denied robbing the English language teacher.

1st Lt. Panisa Kuncharin of the Chonburi City Police Station said the Irishman had no recollection of the driver taking his money.

“He was drunk and senseless,” the police officer said.

"He noticed that his money was gone after he was left behind by the van, so he thought the driver must have taken it, but he actually didn’t see that happen."

According to MThai Mr Duffy then admitted to making up the story and suggested he might have dropped his wallet even before entering the vehicle.

At the press conference on Wednesday, the Irishman apologised and shook hands with the driver.

The driver was fined 500 baht (€13) for pushing Mr Duffy. Mr Buddee agreed not to press any charges against the Irish man because Mr Duffy had apologised.

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